Hockney Posters & Petersburg Press
June 19, 2021
David Hockney is one of Britain’s foremost contemporary artists whose work is instantly recognizable and widely popular. He is famous for his mastery of different media ranging from paintings, drawings, printmaking and photography.He is much associated with the Pop Art Movement and has always been fascinated by Cubism and Picasso. He has also been influenced by his extensive travelling in Europe and USA, particularly the southern California landscape. His work covers many diverse areas including elaborate set and costume design. But, like many major artists from the turn of the century, Hockney is also aware of the enormous power of the poster.
The majority of Hockney’s posters have been designed to advertise exhibitions of his original works. As Hockney’s work has universal appeal, exhibitions have been held regularly worldwide and each time a poster has been published to advertise the show. As a result, it is possible to visually trace Hockney’s prolific career through his posters. As well as a graphic summary of his work the posters highlight his enormous store of imagery, or personal symbols, which characterise his stunning and imaginative designs.
David Hockney, San Francisco Opera | 1982 |
Hockney’s posters were printed by Petersburg Press, who by the early 1980’s, was acting as Hockney’s worldwide agent. Petersburg Press was founded in London in 1967 by Paul Cornwall-Jones. Paul met Hockney whilst he was still at the Royal College of Art. At this time Paul was working for Editions Alecto which he had founded while an undergraduate at Cambridge. Paul saw his role not only as a publisher, producing limited edition prints and deluxe books, but as an ambassador for David Hockney and the many artists he represented.
When Hockney was asked to design a poster, it was produced at Petersburg Press, often from original plates drawn by the artist. Working with the artist on design, the posters reproduced a wide range of Hockney’s paintings, drawings, set designs, photographs and prints. All were in 6-8 printings, rather than the standard 4 colour, and printed on high quality heavy paper stock.
David Hockney, Parade | 1981 |
In the 1970’s Petersburg Press also worked with numerous museums and represented the graphics of Jim Dine, Richard Hamilton, Howard Hodgkin, Jasper Johns, Roy Lichtenstein, Claes Oldenburg, James Rosenquist, Dieter Roth and Frank Stella. Through the years, Petersburg Press organised many exhibitions and the artists were integral in designing the posters, choosing typeface, layout and sometimes adding original drawing into the design. There was no standard size: each poster was designed to suit the image.
The extent of Hockney’s international appeal can be seen by the amount of worldwide galleries and museums who have exhibited his work. Among them are The Metropolitan Museum of Art, The Australian National Gallery as well as museums in Honolulu, Tel Aviv, Tokyo, Los Angeles and Salt’s Mill in his home town of Bradford. The posters present a wonderful opportunity for Hockney fans and young collectors to have a graphic work by the artist on their wall.View Hockney Posters